Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Google has a new search engine called prolifesearch.com that gives you all the same results as the regular Google search, but every time you use it they donate money to Pro-Life Charities!
This is a wonderful way to suport the pro-life movement and Google should be commended for it's efforts!
So remember: Don't Google-it, ProLifeSearch-it!
Hat tip to Antonia.
AT this time, when the peace of the churches had been everywhere restored,
Marinus in Caesarea in Palestine, who was honored for his military deeds, and illustrious by virtue of family and wealth, was beheaded for his testimony to Christ, on the following account. The vine-branch is a certain mark of honor among the Romans, and those who obtain it become, they say, centurions. A place being vacated, the order of succession called Marinus to this position. But when he was about to receive the honor, another person came before the tribunal and claimed that it was not legal, according to the ancient laws, for him to receive the Roman dignity, as he was a Christian and did not sacrifice to the emperors; but that the office belonged rather to him.
Thereupon the judge, whose name was Achaeus, being disturbed, first asked what opinion Marinus held. And when he perceived that he continually confessed himself a Christian, he gave him three hours for reflection.
When he came out from the tribunal, Theotecnus, the bishop there, took him aside and conversed with him, and taking his hand led him into the church. And standing with him within, in the sanctuary, he raised his cloak a little, and pointed to the sword that hung by his side; and at the same time he placed before him the Scripture of the divine Gospels, and told him to choose which of the two he wished. And without hesitation he reached forth his right hand, and took the divine Scripture. "Hold fast then," says Theotecnus to him, "hold fast to God, and strengthened by him mayest thou obtain what thou hast chosen, and go in peace." Immediately on his return the herald cried out calling him to the tribunal, for the appointed time was already completed. And standing before the tribunal, and manifesting greater zeal for the faith, immediately, as he was, he was led away and finished his course by death.
St Asterius also happened to be present at the sufferings of the Martyr Marinus. When the execution was over, he took off his senatorial garb, spread it upon the ground and wrapped the head and body of St Marinus in it. On his own shoulders he carried the martyr's relics to the grave and reverently consigned them to earth. For doing this, he was himself sentenced to death and beheaded in the year 260.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Planned Parenthood is at the root of many problems facing our nation:
- Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America and has killed more than 3 million innocent children at its facilities.
- Planned Parenthood's top goal for the next 25 years is to push its agenda of promiscuous sex everywhere in our society.
- Planned Parenthood puts minors on birth control without parents' knowledge or involvement .
- Planned Parenthood has demonstrated a willingness to cover up for rapists and child predators.
- Planned Parenthood pushes pornography onto children with shocking and offensive websites, books, and literature.
- Planned Parenthood is openly hostile to Christianity, and regularly mocks people of faith.
- Planned Parenthood hurts women with misleading and dishonest medical information.
And Planned Parenthood does all of this with over $265 million dollars a year of your tax money!
Sign the petition to help end the organization's reign of death in America.
I was seriously contemplating joining the Third Order of the Order of Preachers, but have discovered that their are no Dominicans in Pittsburgh. We have just about every other order here; Carmelites, Passionists, Benedictines, Franciscans, Spiritans, Capuchin Friars...but no Dominicans. Where are all the Dominicans?
From Catholic Library's Quick Questions:
Some Eastern Orthodox claim that the Catholic Church is under anathema because it added the word filioque ("and the son") to the Nicene Creed after the declaration that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. This was illicit, they say, because the Council of Ephesus condemned anyone who composes a new creed. How should we reply?
It is true that the Council of Ephesus (431) prohibited the making of new creeds. It stated, "It is not permitted to produce or write or compose any other creed except the one which was defined by the holy Fathers who were gathered together in the Holy Spirit at Nicaea. Any who dare to compose or bring forth or produce another creed for the benefit of those who wish to turn from Hellenism or Judaism or some other heresy to the knowledge of the truth, if they are bishops or clerics they should be deprived of their respective charges, and if they are laymen they are to be anathematized" (Definition of the Faith at Nicaea).
Edicts of an ecumenical council are binding on Christians, but they are not binding on another ecumenical council unless they are pronouncing a matter of faith or morals. Later ecumenical councils can revise or modify disciplinary policies of their predecessors. Since the prohibition on making a new creed was a disciplinary matter, it could be changed by later ecumenical councils.
At the ecumenical Council of Florence (1438-45), it was changed, and the council ruled that the words "and the Son" had been validly added to the Creed. The Eastern Orthodox originally accepted the authority of the Council of Florence, but later rejected it.
Note that Ephesus referred to the creed as composed by the Fathers at Nicaea (325), not as modified at Constantinople. This is significant because the final portion of the Nicene Creed, which deals with the Holy Spirit and contains the filioque clause, was not composed until the First Council of Constantinople (381). If the prohibition of Ephesus undermined the modern Catholic creed, it undermines the Eastern Orthodox creed no less, since the Easter Orthodox version includes the material on the Holy Spirit as written at Constantinople I. It is inconsistent for the Eastern Orthodox to cite Ephesus about the filioque clause when all of the material on the Holy Spirit was added to the creed that was formulated at Nicaea.
Ephesus' prohibition of making a new creed in addition to the Nicene prompted questions about the status of the material added by Constantinople I. How this material was to be regarded was settled at the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451), which stated, "Therefore this sacred and great and universal synod . . . decrees that the creed of the 318 fathers is, above all else, to remain inviolate. And because of those who oppose the Holy Spirit, it ratifies the teaching about the being of the Holy Spirit handed down by the 150 saintly fathers who met some time later in the imperial city--the teaching they made known to all, not introducing anything left out by their predecessors, but clarifying their ideas about the Holy Spirit" (Definition of Faith).
According to Chalcedon, it was permissible for the Fathers of Constantinople I to include the material on the Holy Spirit in the Creed of Nicaea; they were not adding substance but clarifying what was already there. Yet if this option of making clarifying notations to the creed was permissible for them, it would be permissible for others also. Thus the Council of Florence could add "filioque" legitimately as a clarification of the manner of the Spirit's procession.
(Excerpted from the May 1994 issue of This Rock magazine.)
My wife and I attended our first Tridentine Mass this morning. The liturgy was beautiful, unlike anything we are used to, but beautiful nonetheless. I really wish I had paid more attention to my Latin classes in college! Maybe then I would have been able to follow along a little easier. As it was, I frequently got lost not realizing that most of the mass is said silently by the priest. I wouldn't mind attending again, but my wife has decided that she is not ready for it at this point in time. I intend to read more about the Tridentine Mass and become more familiar with the liturgy. That way, when I do attend it again, I won't be as lost as I was this time.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
After the death of Anterus he had come to Rome, with some others, from his farm and was in the city when the new election began. While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter. During his reign of fourteen years (236-250) there was a lull in the storm of persecution.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
An agnostic or an atheist might cite this verse in the Bible to try to discredit Christianity. They might say, "I can't believe in a God who would send His only Son to suffer such a cruel death; death by crucifixion. Where is the love in that?"
There is more love in that act than anyone could possibly imagine! Humankind has strayed so far from God's original intention when God said that "it was good" at the beginning of creation turning to sin and idol worship again and again and again. God had given man every chance and opportunity to turn back to Him who is our Almighty Creator and each time man has failed Him. God went so far as to wipe out all his creation save for the righteous Noah and his family. Noah became the new Adam. Yet, like Adam, Noah failed. Mankind had once more succumbed to sin.
But God did not give up on us. He guided us like a father and disciplined us when it was needed. To those disciplined at the time it might have seemed harsh, but they recognized God's love eventually.
Then came Abraham. The beginning of salvation history. God had a plan. But he needed to test Abraham to see if he was strong enough to be loyal to God at any cost. As a test of his loyalty, Abraham was to "take [his] son, [his] only son Isaac" and offer him as a sacrifice to God (Gen 22:2). Abraham obeyed. He took his son to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him to God.
The important thing to remember here is that God made man to have free will. That means the ability to accept God or reject Him. An atheist uses their free will to reject God. Abraham was not an atheist!
Isaac too, also had free will. Isaac did not struggle when Abraham bound him, but gave himself freely.
Right before Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son, an angel of the Lord came and stopped him by saying, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me" (Gen 22:12). Abraham then offered up a ram to the Lord.
God made a covenant with Abraham that day to make his offspring "as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore" whereby all nations shall be blessed (Gen 22:17).
Yet, man continued to reject God. For that is what sin is-a rejection of God.
And so as we see in Genesis, Abraham and Isaac are a divine foreshadow of God and Jesus. In order for all nations to be blessed and redeemed from their sins, God offers up as a sacrifice for all mankind his only begotten Son.
Now, remember what I said about God endowing man with free will? This applied also to his Son, Jesus; who was not only fully man, but God Himself.
Jesus has the freedom to say "no" to God. But, like Isaac, Jesus puts his faith and trust in His Father and freely chooses to die for mankind's sake on Calvary (one of the mountains on Mount Moriah, where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac).
God sending His only Son to die was not an act of cruelty, but the ultimate act of love.
"For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous" (Rom 5:19).
God sent his only Son, and his Son freely accepted!
"Jesus answered and said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also.
For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life" (Jn 5:19-24).
How lucky are we as Christians, as humankind, to have a Creator who loves us so much that He would come down to earth in human form and offer Himself up as a sacrifice for our salvation!
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Guasacht was the son of Maelchu (Miluic), the master under whom Saint Patrick worked as a slave in Ireland. Maelchu set fire to his home, locked the doors, and perished in the flames rather than meet Patrick again. Guasacht, however, was converted by Patrick, whom he helped in the evangelization of Ireland, both as a layman and later as bishop of Granard (County Longford). His two sisters, known as the Emers, also became Christians and religious.
"Take an average Irishman...
and you will find that
the very first principle
in his mind is,
'I am not an Englishman
,because I am a Catholic!
'Take an Irishman
wherever he is found,
all over the earth,
and any casual observer will
at once come to the conclusion,
'Oh; he is an Irishman,
he is a Catholic!
'The two go together."
Father Thomas H. Burke, O.P.
This great quote comes from Recta Ratio, a wonderful blog from a fellow Irishman from Boston!
Thankfully, I will be able to join my Irish heritage with full Catholicity on Easter of this year!
Monday, January 23, 2006
In reading Eusebius's The History of the Church, I have come across an interesting correspondence between Abgar the Toparch and Jesus. It is as follows:
Copy of a letter written by Abgar the Toparch to Jesus and sent to him at Jerusalem by the courier Ananias
Abgar Uchama the Toparch to Jesus, who has appeared as a gracious saviour in the region of Jerusalem-greeting.
I have heard about you and about the cures you perform without drugs or herbs. If report is true, you make the blind see and the lame walk about; you cleanse lepers, expel unclean spirits and demons, cure those suffering from chronic and painful diseases, and raise the dead. When I heard all this about you, I concluded that one of two things must be true- either you are God and came down from heaven to do these things, or you are God's Son doing them. Accordingly I am writing to beg you to come to me, whatever the inconvenience, and cure the disorder from which I suffer. I may add that I understand the Jews are treating you with contempt and desire to injure you: my city is very small, but highly esteemed, adequate for both of us.
Jesus's reply to the Toparch Abgar by the courier Ananias
Happy are you who believed in me without having seen me! For it is written of me that those who have seen me will not believe in me, and that those who have not seen will believe and live. As to your request that I should come to you, I must complete all that I was sent to do here, and on completing it must at once be taken up to the One who sent me. When I have been taken up I will send you one of my disciples to cure your disorder and bring life to you and those with you.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
In the times of the early Church in Africa, when the practice of Christianity was forbidden on the penalty of death, a group of 50 people gathered on a Sunday morning in the marketplace to celebrate mass. For the heathens, Sunday was just another work day, so 50 Christians gathered together to celebrate mass stood out like a sore thumb. The authorities waited until the mass was over and then rounded up the 50 Christians and brought them to the governor of the town. The governor asked the martyrs why they chose to worship openly without fear of being caught. Their reply was that they would rather die than not celebrate the mass.
Would that today's Christians had the same conviction!
Did you know that up until 1930, every single Protestant denomination without exception opposed contraception on Biblical grounds?
The Roman Catholic Church is the only denomination, the only Church tradition on earth that upholds this age-old Christian teaching rooted in Scripture.
Did you know that in 1930 the Anglican Church broke from this tradition and began to allow contraception, and shortly thereafter every single mainline denomination on earth caved in to the mounting pressure of the sexual revolution.
Did you also know that by the 1960's and 70's the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, not only endorsed contraception, but abortion on demand and federal funding for abortion.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I have mailed out my application to the Franciscan University of Steubenville today! It's in God's hands now.
Here is one of the questions asked on the application with my answer following:
State your reasons for wanting to enter the Franciscan University of Steubenville Master of Arts in Theology Program, what you expect to gain from it, and what your plans and ambitions are for the future.
I want to enter the Franciscan University of Steubenville Master of Arts in Theology Program in order to answer St. Peter's call to "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). I want to gain the knowledge and wisdom to be able to evangelize and make an apology for the Catholic Faith to non-Christians, non-Catholics, and even Catholics themselves. I expect to gain a fuller understanding and a deepening of the Faith. I plan to continue on and get my Doctorate and my ambition is be a theologian and apologist. I want to spread and teach the Faith to ensure that every Catholic is able to not only state what they believe, but defend it with vigor and enthusiasm.
All prayers would be greatly appreciated!
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Ita was reputedly of royal lineage. She was born at Decies, Waterford, Ireland, refused to be married, and secured her father's permission to live a celibate life. She moved to Killeedy, Limerick, and founded a community of women dedicated to God. She also founded a school for boys, and one of her pupils was St. Brendan. Many extravagant miracles were attributed to her (in one of them she is reputed to have reunited the head and body of a man who had been beheaded; in another she lived entirely on food from heaven) and she is widely venerated in Ireland, second only to Saint Brigid in popular Irish devotion. She is also known as Deirdre and Mida.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78
112 1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture." Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79
The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart,
closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80
113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church." According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).
114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82 By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
I've been thinking a lot lately about how a lot of Protestants deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and wishing I could think of a really good apology to convince them of it. Then through my reading I came upon it. If you believe that Christ offered himself up as the true paschal lamb for our salvation, which all Christians believe, then I am convinced you must believe that Christ is fully present in the Eucharist.
Here's why: (Besides Christ actually saying that the bread and wine are his body and blood! Also, Jesus Christ does not lie. He IS truth. Ergo, if he says it is his body and blood then you had better believe it!)
During the time of the first Passover in Egypt, the Israelites had to sacrifice a paschal lamb and then eat it in order to be saved from God's wrath on Egypt's firstborn sons. Likewise, during the Passover around the year 33 AD, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, offered himself up as the true paschal lamb to be sacrificed on the cross for the salvation of the whole world. Christ instituted the Eucharist as a memorial of his Passover sacrifice (which we Catholics partake in every Sunday, as do some Protestants) in which we eat and drink the bread and wine that are truly Christ's body and blood.
When reading the Bible it is of the utmost importance, as I have learned from Scott Hahn, that we look at the New Testament in light of the Old as well as the Old in light of the New!
Furthermore, St. Paul admonishes:
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.
A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
-1 Cor 11:27-29
For such a holy act as eating the body and blood of Christ, St. Paul warns that it shouldn't be done lightly. For doing so could bring judgment upon yourself. If the bread and wine were not really the body and blood of Christ, but rather simply a symbolic act, then St. Paul would not speak about it with the seriousness that he does.
"This is where the activity of every State, and diplomatic activity between States, comes naturally into play. In the development of international law today, it is becoming increasingly clear that no Government can feel free to neglect its duty to ensure suitable conditions of freedom for its own citizens without thereby damaging its credibility to speak out on international problems. And rightly so: for in safeguarding the rights belonging to the person as such, rights which are internationally guaranteed, one must naturally give primary importance to ensuring the rights of freedom within individual States, in public and private life, in economic and political relations, and in the cultural and religious spheres."
Read it all here.
One of the most powerful things the Pope said in his address was, "On the basis of available statistical data, it can be said that less than half of the immense sums spent worldwide on armaments would be more than sufficient to liberate the immense masses of the poor from destitution."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Because they endorse the show The Book of Daniel.
This show is one hundred percent NOT representative of Christianity. Unfortunately, it fits the Episcopal Church to a T!
It's not surprising that Susan Russell is one of the shows biggest supporters. For those who don't know Susan Russell, she is a priest in the Episcopal Church and is also the head of Integrity, a group within the Episcopal Church that is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered lobby. Their name is ironic in that they have absolutely no integrity! They, along with the liberal faction of the Episcopal Church have succeeded in turning ECUSA into a Universalist/Uniterian sect, where no sin exists and their idea of Jesus is anything that gives you a warm happy feeling.
My biggest fear about this show is that people who watch it will think it is a realistic model of Christianity. Russell thinks that the show will probably draw more people to the church. In reality, it will draw more people to a skewed reality of Christianity. One where you do not need to be held accountable for your sins. One that is devoid of all morality. One where selfishness pervades and the Truth is nowhere in sight.
There is an open blog about the show over at Titusonenine. See what others are saying.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I just found this great site for the St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology, started by Dr. Scott Hahn, where you can take free online lessons in the bible. There is even a college in Indiana that will give you credit for taking the classes. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. So if you want an in depth study of God's plan of salvation for history or if you just want to learn more about the Bible, it's a great place to check out. Start your classes today...I am!
Pray For The Intentions Of The Pope
Intention for the Apostleship of Prayer for the month of January, 2006 is: "That the effort to bring about the full communion of Christians may foster reconciliation and peace among all the peoples of the earth".
His missionary intention is: "That Christians may know how to welcome migrants with respect and charity, recognizing in each person the image of God".
Hat tip to St. Peter's Helpers!
Texas has just upset the two time champs, USC with a 41-38 victory! The Longhorns were led by the MVP of the game, Vince Young, who as the quarterback had 200 yards rushing and 267 yards passing! Texas' victory breaks USC's 34 game winning streak! This is the Longhorn's first national title since 1970.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.
Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels.
In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth's early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort; she would continue to love the Scriptures for the rest of her life.
In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. Elizabeth wrote in her diary at first autumn, "My own home at twenty-the world-that and heaven too-quite impossible."
This time of Elizabeth's life was to be a brief moment of earthly happiness before the many deaths and partings she was to suffer. Within four years, Will's father died, leaving the young couple in charge of Will's seven half brothers and sisters, as well as the family's importing business. Now events began to move fast - and with devastating effect. Both Will's business and his health failed. He was finally forced to file a petition of bankruptcy. In a final attempt to save Will's health, the Setons sailed for Italy, where Will had business friends. Will died of tuberculosis while in Italy. Elizabeth's one consolation was that Will had recently awakened to the things of God.
The many enforced separations from dear ones by death and distance, served to draw Elizabeth's heart to God and eternity. The accepting and embracing of God's will - "The Will," as she called it - would be a keynote in her spiritual life.
Elizabeth's deep concern for the spiritual welfare of her family and friends eventually led her into the Catholic Church.
In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her own kindness, patience, good sense, wit and courtesy. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith, and over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instructions.
Elizabeth's desire for the Bread of Life was to be a strong force leading her to the Catholic Church.
Having lost her mother at an early age, Elizabeth felt great comfort in the idea that the Blessed Virgin was truly her mother. She asked the Blessed Virgin to guide her to the True Faith. Elizabeth finally joined the Catholic Church in 1805.
At the suggestion of the president of St. Mary's College in Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth started a school in that city. She and two other young women, who helped her in her work, began plans for a Sisterhood. They established the first free Catholic school in America. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children.
On March 25, 1809, Elizabeth Seton pronounced her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, binding for one year. From that time she was called Mother Seton.
Although Mother Seton was now afflicted with tuberculosis, she continued to guide her children. The Rule of the Sisterhood was formally ratified in 1812. It was based upon the Rule St. Vincent de Paul had written for his Daughters of Charity in France. By 1818, in addition to their first school, the sisters had established two orphanages and another school. Today six groups of sisters trace their origins to Mother Seton's initial foundation.
For the last three years of her life, Elizabeth felt that God was getting ready to call her, and this gave her joy. Mother Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46, only sixteen years after becoming a Catholic. She was canonized on September 14, 1975.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I'm amazed at how many Catholics haven't read the Catechism of the Catholic Church! I'm even more amazed at how many don't even own a copy. The Catechism is something every Catholic should have and have read. It's not that hard. It's only a little over 700 pages. If you read only 15 pages a day you can finish it in 7 weeks. What are you waiting for? Start reading!
I'm assuming that you've already the Bible. If you haven't put down the Catechism and start reading your Bible....Now! It's important as a Christian to read the Bible and read it every day! There are plans that can guide you through the Bible in a year, two years, or even three. Find one. Pick a plan. Get to work! It's your Christian duty.
And then when you've finished the Bible, go find that Catechism again....
Today at work someone told me that I looked like a young Mark Wahlberg. Who knows, maybe we are related somehow?! I mean we are both from Boston, we are both actors, and we both can't sing! Now, generally I don't take too much stock in comments like that, but today is not the first time I've heard it. You be the judge.
I don't see it at all. Although, I do take it as a compliment since it seems that most women say that he is attractive. At any rate if you see this post Mark and you need someone to play your younger brother in a movie, then I'm your man!
How about these:
....Oh,and Mark... I was just kidding about the singing. You can sing...really.
Monday, January 02, 2006
In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word-and he has no more to say...because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.
-St. John of the Cross
St. Basil the Great was born at Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330. He was one of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Several of his brothers and sisters are honored among the saints, including Saint Gregory. He attended school in Caesarea, as well as Constantinople and Athens, where he became acquainted with St. Gregory Nazianzen in 352. A little later, he opened a school of oratory in Caesarea and practiced law. He was so successful, so sought after as a speaker, he was tempted by pride. Fearful that it would overtake his piety, he sold all that he had, gave away the money, and became a monk. He is considered the founder of Eastern monastcism parallel to Benedict in the west. He founded a monastery in Pontus which he directed for five years. He wrote a famous monastic rule which has proved the most lasting of those in the East. After founding several other monasteries, he was ordained and, in 370, made bishop of Caesaria. In this post until his death in 379, he continued to be a man of vast learning and constant activity, genuine eloquence and immense charity. This earned for him the title of "Great" during his life and Doctor of the Church after his death. Basil was one of the giants of the early Church. He was responsible for the victory of Nicene orthodoxy over Arianism in the Byzantine East, and the denunciation of Arianism at the Council of Constantinople in 381-82 was in large measure due to his efforts. Basil fought simony, aided the victims of drought and famine, strove for a better clergy, insisted on a rigid clerical discipline, fearlessly denounced evil wherever he detected it, and excommunicated those involved in the widespread prostitution traffic in Cappadocia. He was learned, accomplished in statesmanship, a man of great personal holiness, and one of the great orators of Christianity. He is one of the Doctors and Fathers of the Church.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
I was watching Fr. John Corapi earlier on EWTN and I couldn't help thinking that his voice must be exactly what God's voice sounds like. For those who haven't ever heard him, he sounds like a cross between James Earl Jones and an American version of Sean Connery. Exactly what I imagine God's voice sounding like!
St. Telemachus (also known as Almachius) was a hermit from the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. Upon hearing about the gladiators fighting to the death in the arena he went to Rome in 391 to put an end to it. He entered the stadium while the games were in progress and, going down into the arena, attempted to separate the combatants. The spectators of this cruel pastime were infuriated, and at the instigation of Satan, who delights in blood, they stoned to death this messenger of peace. His death, according to Theodoret, caused Emperor Honorius to abolish gladiatorial contests.
I mostly miss the beautiful hymns! Anglicanism has some of the best hymns ever written and not being able to sing them every Sunday at mass is a bit hard. I've found that most of the hymns in the Catholic Church leave something to be desired. Although I do have to admit that my wife and I have found a church here in Pittsburgh, St. Bernard's, that uses hymns from the hymnal which are pretty good (probably because a lot of them are written by Anglicans). We have been to some other Catholic churches here that use a supplemental hymn book where all the hymns (I use that word very loosely here) have been written sometime in the late 70's and they are absolutely the poorest example of music I have ever heard! Why doesn't the Catholic Church have any good composers? One would think that a Church with such extensive history would have the most beautiful music to worship God with. I'm sure there are in fact great Catholic composers, they just need to come out from under the rocks they are hiding and permeate the liturgy of the Catholic Church with wonderful hymns. Until that happens, I am afraid to say that the Anglicans have got the Catholics beat!
O Cecilia, patron saint of composers, here my cry and pray for us that God's Holy Catholic Church may be filled with composers who are inspired to create glorious music worthy of being sung to our Most Worthy and Heavenly Creator, the Lord God Almighty! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!